RetrOgrAde: Rain Check, Please!April 21, 2017 | Filed under: Sports World | Posted by: Mostafizur Rahman
Drought? What drought? Prior to Sunday, when was the last time we had a rain out in April? I can’t remember. Nevertheless, I received my modern “rain check” for Sunday’s rain out. Most know the saying, “I’ll take a rain check,” but how many know it’s origins? Rain checks began in baseball in the 1880’s when paying customers were given a “check” or ticket for a future game because rain eliminated play. It was most certainly motivated by the owners who did not have to refund the money they already collected. And, it made for an easy solution. Like all words or phrases, the evolution of this phrase led to it’s application to other events such as concerts.
Rain outs aren’t the same as in the “old days,” however. In the old days, it took much longer for a rain out to be called. Unlike the game last Sunday that was called over an hour before first pitch, they waited a LONG time before calling the game. l learned on social media that my tickets for Sunday could be used for any future game (same as a traditional rain check) and that the rain-out game would be melded into the schedule with an “old fashioned double header.” Quite different than the old days when you’d literally walk out with a ticket in hand to could later be exchanged at the ticket window for any future game, including the rescheduling of the rain out game IF it was played at home.
Tarps, from Tarpaulin, has also evolved over the years. The original tarpaulin comes from sailing where tar was swiped on canvas to create a protective cover. Sailors even tarred their outer wear for an attempt at water proofing. Much of what we have in baseball emerges from our sea-going history such as the words “on deck” and “in the hole” (originally “in the hull”) and the tarp is no exceptions. The modern version of the tarp, of course, has led to those wonderful impromptu player slip-and-slides during the wait between innings of rain.
So, as with all RetrOgrAde topics, tell your story below of either a) getting a rain check (possibly someone still has one from way back when?); b) non-rainouts that SHOULD have been rainouts (what did you experience); c) amusing tarp stories; or d) anything else that comes to mind. As we head into the rest of the four game series against the Mariners, the team from the rainy-day zone, let’s share some stories. Go A’s!
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